mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become less harsh or hostile : mollify aggressiveness may be mitigated or … channeled— Ashley Montagu
2a : to make less severe or painful : alleviate mitigate a patient's suffering
b : extenuate attempted to mitigate the offense

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Other Words from mitigate

mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigative (audio) \ adjective
mitigator \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce mitigator (audio) \ noun
mitigatory \ ˈmi-​ti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce mitigatory (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mitigate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for mitigate

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

Mitigate vs. Militate: Usage Guide

Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him — William Faulkner and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake.

mitigate or militate?

Would it be correct to say, "His boyish appearance mitigated against his getting an early promotion"? Most usage commentators would say "no." They feel such examples demonstrate a long-standing confusion between mitigate and the look-alike militate. Those two words are not closely related etymologically (mitigate descends from the Latin verb mitigare, meaning "to soften," whereas militate traces to militare, another Latin verb that means "to engage in warfare"), nor are they particularly close in meaning (militate means "to have weight or effect"). The confusion between the two has existed for long enough that one commentator thinks "mitigate against" should be accepted as an idiomatic alternative to militate, but if you want to avoid criticism, you should keep mitigate and militate distinct.

Examples of mitigate in a Sentence

At the far end of the room is a sliding glass door, taped with an X to mitigate shattering. The framing is flimsy, and rattles from mortar rounds even a half mile away. — William Langewiesche, Atlantic, May 2005 … a genre novel whose inevitable cinematic ending doesn't mitigate the visceral and emotional power of what has come before. It lingers in the memory like a very bad dream. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003 For 65 holes Norman dominated the classic rolling fairways and small, subtle greens of Olympic … with driving and iron play so solid that it mitigated mediocre putting. — Jaime Diaz, Sports Illustrated, 8 Nov. 1993 Emergency funds are being provided to help mitigate the effects of the disaster. medicines used to mitigate a patient's suffering
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Recent Examples on the Web Britain has already taken steps to mitigate the risk that Huawei presents. Max Colchester, WSJ, "U.K. Allows Huawei to Build Parts of 5G Network, Defying Trump," 29 Jan. 2020 Santora blamed a lack of communication between scientists and fisheries managers for the spike in whale entanglements but said stakeholders now have the tools to mitigate risks. Bev Banks, Scientific American, "Ocean Heat Waves Linked to Rise in Whale Entanglements," 28 Jan. 2020 The connections Jean-Mary has established in the South should help mitigate Michigan’s loss of another defensive assistant, Chris Partridge, who made some inroads in that region as the Wolverines cobbled together their previous signing classes. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Why Charlie Strong says Michigan football's new linebackers coach is a 'great fit'," 18 Jan. 2020 And since then, customers, friends and the beer community have rallied by visiting the bar and purchasing beer artifacts that are being sold to help mitigate medical costs. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mike Romans, Milwaukee's godfather of craft beer, faces cancer diagnosis with help from his friends," 3 Jan. 2020 That is according to researchers at Oregon State University, who found that preserving specific forests in the American west could help mitigate the effects of rising levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. oregonlive, "Preserving western forests is crucial in fight against climate change, OSU researchers find," 10 Dec. 2019 Affirmative action policies helped to mitigate the structural impediments blocking her path to success, and that of many others like her. Uche Blackstock, Twin Cities, "Uche Blackstock: Mother, daughters, doctors. Affirmative action at Harvard makes a generational ripple in improving black health care," 28 Nov. 2019 Are there ways to mitigate the risk to me personally? Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, Cincinnati.com, "BusinessWise: Guaranteeing a company loan can be risky business," 4 Nov. 2019 Thus, burn bans help to mitigate potential disaster. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "What is a burn ban, and why have so many gone into effect recently throughout Kentucky?," 9 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mitigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mitigate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitigate

Middle English, from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare to soften, from mitis soft + -igare (akin to Latin agere to drive); akin to Old Irish moíth soft — more at agent

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Time Traveler for mitigate

Time Traveler

The first known use of mitigate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mitigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mitigate. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mitigate

mitigate

verb
How to pronounce mitigate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mitigate

formal : to make (something) less severe, harmful, or painful
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmit-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Medical Definition of mitigate

: to make less severe or painful

mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Legal Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of what actions the State took to mitigate the hazardous conditionsEstate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995) factors that mitigate the crime — see also mitigation of damages sense 1 — compare aggravate

intransitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of one's losses or damage a failure to mitigate

Other Words from mitigate

mitigation \ ˌmi-​tə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce mitigation (audio) \ noun
mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigative (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on mitigate

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